Battle of Khe Sanh: Recounting the Battle's Casualties | HistoryNet MENU

Battle of Khe Sanh: Recounting the Battle’s Casualties

By Peter Brush
6/26/2007 • Vietnam

The 1968 Battle of Khe Sanh was the longest, deadliest and most controversial of the Vietnam War, pitting the U.S. Marines and their allies against the North Vietnamese Army. Both sides have published official histories of the battle, and while these histories agree the fighting took place at Khe Sanh, they disagree on virtually every other aspect of it.

In an unconventional war without conventional front lines, statistics became the most critical measure of progress. The most controversial statistic in Vietnam was the number of killed in action (KIA) claimed by each side. If a battle tallied a sufficiently favorable body count ratio, American commanders declared victory, as they did after Khe Sanh. A closer look at the Khe Sanh body count, however, reveals anything but a straightforward matter of numbers.

Khe Sanh is a village located near the Laotian border and just south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separated North and South Vietnam. As early as 1962, the U.S. Military Command–Vietnam (MACV) established an Army Special Forces camp near the village. The Americans wanted a military presence there to block the infiltration of enemy forces from Laos, to provide a base for launching patrols into Laos to monitor the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and to serve as a western anchor for defense along the DMZ.

In 1966 the Marines built a base adjacent to the Army position, and organized their combat activities around named operations. By early 1967, the Marine position was reinforced to regimental strength. On April 20, Operation Prairie IV began, with heavy fighting between the Marines and NVA forces. The next operations were named Crockett and Ardmore.

Beginning in October 1967, the Communists greatly increased their forces in the Khe Sanh area to total two infantry divisions, two artillery regiments and an armored regiment. These forces, including support troops, totaled 20,000 to 30,000. The Marine garrison was also reinforced, and on November 1, 1967, Operation Scotland began. The Marine Corps casualty reporting system was based on named operations and not geographic location. Consequently, and unknown at the time, Operation Scotland became the starting point of the Battle of Khe Sanh in terms of Marine casualty reporting.

By the middle of January 1968, some 6,000 Marines and Army troops occupied the Khe Sanh Combat Base and its surrounding positions. Khe Sanh was situated on Route 9, the major east-west highway. Because of washed-out bridges and heavy enemy activity, however, the only way for Americans to get to Khe Sanh was by helicopter or airplane.

During the darkness of January 20-21, the NVA launched a series of coordinated attacks against American positions. At 0330 hours, soldiers of the NVA 6th Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 325C Division, attacked the Marines on Hill 861. Among the dead Marines was 18-year-old Pfc Curtis Bugger. About two hours later, an NVA artillery barrage scored a hit on the main ammunition dump at Khe Sanh Combat Base, killing Lance Corp. Jerry Stenberg and other Marines. At about 0640 hours the NVA 7th Battalion, 66th Regiment, 304th Division, attacked the Huong Hoa District headquarters in Khe Sanh village. This fighting was heavy, involving South Vietnamese militia as well as U.S. Army MACV advisers and Marines attached to a Combined Action Company platoon. That afternoon, as a rescue force was dispatched to the village, Army Lt. Col. Joseph Seymoe and other soldiers died when their helicopter was attacked.

The monumental Battle of Khe Sanh had begun, but the January 21 starting date is essentially arbitrary in terms of casualty reporting. Five Marines were killed on January 19 and 20, while on reconnaissance patrols. The Marine defense of Khe Sanh, Operation Scotland, officially ended on March 31.

On April 6, a front-page story in The New York Times declared that the siege of Khe Sanh had been lifted. According to the official Marine Corps history of the battle, total fatalities for Operation Scotland were “205 friendly KIA.” The Marines recorded an actual body count of 1,602 NVA killed  but estimated the total NVA dead at between 10,000 and 15,000. Time magazine, in an April 12, 1968, article titled “Victory at Khe Sanh,” reported General William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, after flying into Khe Sanh by helicopter, declaring: “We took 220 killed at Khe Sanh and about 800 wounded and evacuated. The enemy by my count suffered at least 15,000 dead in the area.”

As journalist Robert Pisor pointed out in his 1982 book, The End of the Line: The Siege of Khe Sanh, no other battle of the entire war produced a better body count or kill ratio than that claimed by the Americans at Khe Sanh. Westmoreland echoed this judgment in his memoirs, and, using exactly the same figures, concluded that the North Vietnamese had suffered a most damaging and one-sided defeat. Senior Marine Corps General Victor Krulak agreed, noting on May 13 that the Marines had defeated the North Vietnamese and “won the battle of Khe Sanh.” Over time, these KIA figures have been accepted by historians. They produced a body count ratio in the range between 50:1 and 75:1. By comparison, according to another Army general, a 10:1 ratio was considered average and 25:1 was considered very good.

But Pisor also pointed out that “205 is a completely false number.” One had to meet certain criteria before being officially considered KIA at Khe Sanh. It was not sufficient to simply be an American military person killed in the fighting there during the winter and spring of 1967-68.

Only those killed in action during Operation Scotland, which began on November 1, 1967, and ended on March 31, 1968, were included in the official casualty count. On January 14, Marines from Company B, 3rd Recon Battalion, were moving up the north slope of Hill 881 North, a few miles northwest of Khe Sanh Combat Base. When an enemy rocket-propelled grenade killed 2nd Lt. Randall Yeary and Corporal Richard John, although these Marines died before the beginning of the siege, their deaths were included in the official statistics. The NVA used Hill 881 North to launch 122mm rockets at the Marines during the siege. On Easter Sunday, April 14, the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines (3/26), assaulted Hill 881 North in order to clear the enemy firing positions. Lima Company finally seized the hill after overcoming determined NVA resistance. Unlike the Marines killed in the same place in January, since Operation Scotland had ended, the four Lima Company Marines who died in this attack on Hill 881 North were excluded from the official statistics.

Seven miles west of Khe Sanh on Route 9, and about halfway to the Laotian border, sat the U.S. Army Special Forces camp at Lang Vei. Khe Sanh had long been responsible for the defense of Lang Vei. Shortly after midnight on February 7, a large NVA force, reinforced with tanks, attacked the camp. Its mission was to destroy the Special Forces and their Vietnamese allies and to ambush any reinforcements coming from Khe Sanh. The Marines, fearing an ambush, did not attempt a relief, and after heavy fighting the camp was overrun. Ten American soldiers were killed; the rest managed to escape down Route 9 to Khe Sanh. Those 10 deaths were also left out of the official statistics.

The American military presence at Khe Sanh consisted not only of the Marine Corps Khe Sanh Combat Base, but also Forward Operating Base 3, U.S. Army (FOB-3). Many American casualties were caused by the 10,908 rounds of rockets, artillery and mortars the North Vietnamese fired into the base and hill positions. Army deaths at FOB-3, however, were not included in the official statistics either.

The Operation Scotland tactical area of responsibility (TAOR) was limited to the area around Khe Sanh along Route 9 in western Quang Tri province. On March 6, two U.S. Air Force C-123 cargo airplanes departed Da Nang Air Base en route to Khe Sanh. At 1530 hours the first C-123, with 44 passengers and a crew of five, began to land. Enemy artillery rounds slammed into the runway. The tower at Khe Sanh instructed the pilot to take evasive action and go around for another approach. While climbing, the C-123 was struck by several bursts of heavy machine gun and recoilless rifle fire. The plane, piloted by Lt. Col. Frederick J. Hampton, crashed in a huge fireball a few miles east of Khe Sanh, killing all aboard. Since the Marines on board were not yet officially attached to the 26th Marine Regiment, their deaths were not included in the official Khe Sanh count, nor were the several other deaths associated with aircraft crashes. Had the plane been shot down departing Khe Sanh, the casualties would have been counted.

Besieged, Khe Sanh could only be resupplied by air. MACV therefore initiated an operation to open Route 9 to vehicle traffic. Operation Pegasus, begun the day after Scotland ended, lasted until April 15. The Pegasus force consisted of the Army 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) plus the 1st Marine Regiment. Setting out from Ca Lu, 10 miles east of Khe Sanh, Pegasus opened the highway, linked up with the Marines at Khe Sanh, and engaged NVA in the surrounding area. Operation Pegasus casualties included 59 U.S. Army and 51 Marine Corps dead. They too were left out of the official Khe Sanh casualty count.

On April 15, Operation Pegasus ended and Operation Scotland II began. The Marines at Khe Sanh Combat Base broke out of their perimeter and began attacking the North Vietnamese in the surrounding area. The Army’s 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), with more than 400 helicopters under its control, conducted airmobile operations deeper into enemy-controlled areas. The fighting was heavy. An additional 413 Marines were killed during Scotland II as of the end of June 1968. Operation Scotland II continued until the end of the year, resulting in the deaths of 72 more Marines. None of the deaths associated with Scotland II are included in the official count. Historian Ronald Spector, in the book After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam, noted that American casualties in the 10 weeks after the start of Operation Pegasus were more than twice those officially reported during the siege.

The deaths of U.S. Air Force personnel, estimated between five and 20, are also omitted. The official figure of 205 KIA only represents Marine deaths in the Operation Scotland TAOR—that is, Marines killed in proximity to the Khe Sanh Combat Base during the period from November 1, 1967, to March 31, 1968. Scotland was a 26th Marine Regiment operation, so only the deaths of Marines assigned to the regiment, and attached supporting units, were counted. This time period does not particularly coincide with the fighting; rather, it dates from before the siege began and terminates before the siege (and the fighting) ended. The distinctions between Operations Scotland, Pegasus and Scotland II, while important from the command perspective, were not necessarily apparent to individual Marines. For them, the battle started when the North Vietnamese attacks began in January. Fighting around Khe Sanh was continuous. For example, I served with a Marine heavy mortar battery at Khe Sanh during the siege. But only by checking my service record while writing this article did it become evident that I had participated in all three operations.

Upon closer analysis, the official figure does not accurately portray even what it purports to represent. According to Ray Stubbe, a U.S. Navy chaplain during the siege and since then the most significant Khe Sanh  historian, the 205 figure is taken only from the records of the 26th Marine Regiment. Stubbe examined the command chronologies of the 1st and 2nd battalions, 26th Marines, plus the after-action reports of the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines; 1st Battalion, 9th Marines; 1st Battalion, 13th Marines; and more than one dozen other units, all present at Khe Sanh under 26th Marine operational control. These combined sources report a total of 354 KIA. Unlike the official figures, Stubbe’s database of Khe Sanh casualties includes verifiable names and dates of death.

On June 19, 1968, another operation began at Khe Sanh, Operation Charlie, the final evacuation and destruction of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. The Marines withdrew all salvageable material and destroyed everything else. The NVA continued shelling the base, and on July 1 launched a company-sized infantry attack against its perimeter. Two Marines died. NVA casualties were more than 200. The base was officially closed on July 5. Marines stayed in the area, conducting operations to recover the bodies of Marines killed previously. On July 10, Pfc Robert Hernandez of Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, was manning an M-60 machine gun position when it took a direct hit from NVA mortars. Hernandez was killed. Ten more Marines and 89 NVA died during this period. They were not included in the official Khe Sanh counts.

On July 11, the Marines finally left Khe Sanh. This is the battle’s end date from the North Vietnamese perspective. The NVA 304th Division’s history notes that on “9 July 1968, the liberation flag was waving from the flag pole at Ta Con [Khe Sanh] airfield.” On July 13, 1968, Ho Chi Minh sent a message to the soldiers of the Route 9–Khe Sanh Front affirming “our victory at Khe Sanh.”

The Khe Sanh battlefield was considerably more extensive from the North Vietnamese perspective than from that of the U.S. Marine Corps, both geographically and chronologically. The NVA’s main command post was located in Laos, at Sar Lit. Battlefield boundaries extended from eastern Laos eastward along both sides of Route 9 in Quang Tri province, Vietnam, to the coast. Taking a larger but more realistic view, the Khe Sanh campaign resulted in a death toll of American military personnel that approached 1,000.

The official, public estimate of 10,000 to 15,000 North Vietnamese KIA stands in contrast to another estimate made by the American military. On April 5, 1968, MACV prepared an “Analysis of the Khe Sanh Battle” for General Westmoreland. The report, originally classified as secret, noted that intelligence from many sources indicated conclusively that the North Vietnamese had planned a massive ground attack against the base. The attack was to have been supported by armor and artillery. Due to severe losses, however, the NVA abandoned its plan for a massive ground attack. The losses—indicating that the enemy suffered a major defeat—were estimated at 3,550 KIA inflicted by delivered fires (i.e., aerial and artillery bombardment) and 2,000 KIA from ground action, for a total of 5,550 estimated North Vietnamese killed in action as of March 31.

Ray Stubbe has published a translation of the North Vietnamese history of the siege at Khe Sanh. According to this history, originally classified as secret, the battle deaths for all major NVA units participating in the entire Highway 9–

Khe Sanh Front from January 20 until July 20, 1968, totaled 2,469.

Ho Chi Minh’s oft-quoted admonition to the French applied equally to the Americans: “You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.” The calculation by Stubbe that approximately 1,000 Americans died on the Khe Sanh battlefield is especially compelling, given that Stubbe’s numbers are accompanied by names and dates of death. Since the official duration of the battle ends even earlier than the termination of the siege itself, a wider definition of the Khe Sanh battlefield to include Operations Scotland, Pegasus and Scotland II also seems reasonable. The official statistics yield a KIA ratio of between 50:1 and 75:1 of North Vietnamese to U.S. military deaths. The figures of 5,500 NVA dead and 1,000 U.S. dead yield a ratio of 5.5:1.

It is difficult to support the claim of an overwhelming American victory at Khe Sanh based solely on the ratios derived from the official casualty count. In fact, neither side won a resounding victory. The NVA surrounded Khe Sanh in an attempt to force the Marines to break out of their fighting positions, which would make it easier to engage and destroy them. If that failed, and it did, they hoped to attack American reinforcements along Route 9 between Khe Sanh and Laos. Operation Pegasus forces, however, were highly mobile and did not attack en masse down Route 9 far enough west of Khe Sanh for the NVA, by then dispersed, to implement their plan.

The Marines knew that their withdrawal from Khe Sanh would present a propaganda victory for Hanoi. On June 28, a Communist spokesman claimed the Americans had been forced to retreat and that Khe Sanh was the “gravest tactical and strategic defeat” for the U.S. in the war. It was the only time Americans abandoned a major combat base because of enemy pressure.

Strategically, however, the withdrawal meant little. The new anchor base was established at Ca Lu, a few miles down Route 9 to the east. Mobile combat operations continued against the North Vietnamese. U.S. reconnaissance forces continued to monitor the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Marines and their allies at Khe Sanh engaged tens of thousands, and killed thousands, of NVA over a period of many weeks. Indeed, had enemy forces not been at Khe Sanh, they could have joined the NVA and VC who occupied Hue, a much more important strategic target. The Marines fought long, hard and well at Khe Sanh, but they sacrificed in much greater numbers than has been acknowledged by official sources.

Marine Khe Sanh veteran Peter Brush is Vietnam Magazine’s book review editor. For additional reading, see: Valley of Decision: The Siege of Khe Sanh, by John Prados and Ray W. Stubbe; and the official Marine Corps history, The Battle for Khe Sanh, by Moyers S. Shore II.

This article was written by Peter Brush and originally published in the June 2007 issue of Vietnam Magazine. For more great articles, subscribe to Vietnam magazine today!

90 Responses to Battle of Khe Sanh: Recounting the Battle’s Casualties

  1. Isabel Berrigan says:

    I believe my brother LCPL James A. Acosta was at Scotland II and Khe Sanh. He was would May 10, 1968 by mortar round in his thigh. He later was transferrd to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine 27th divsion lima company. On July 15, 1968, he was killed while on patrol.

  2. darrell hill says:

    I have been looking for a hooch friend of mine at Khe Sanh since I was wounded for the second time after I left Khe Sanh and left country. His name is Henry L. Davenport. I was a radio operator (2531) and he was a (2511), wireman. A great guy from New York. If anyone knows anything about him or where he went please contact me.

    • Glenn prentice says:

      Darrel Hill,

      Last I saw dDavenport is when we pulled out of Khe Sanh. I remember him well! We was a good Marine but I also remember him he was very sick with sometime. I spoke with Capt. O Conner and said we should get him out of here! You know any others from the comm. Section?? Sorry you got wounded taking my place at LZ Sharon. I went back in the field as your replacement never to return back to C 1/13 until two days before I went back. Glenn Prentice

  3. Jerry Masters says:

    My youngest brother, Marine Sgt. James H. Masters, was at Khe Sanh and at one time went out on patrol and was the only one to return. I don’t think anyone really knows how many valiant American troops we lost, but I know that thanks to brave men like my baby brother, who, incidentally, returned home after two tours and was tragically killed in an auto accident after surviving all of that could never get Khe Sanh out of his mind up till the day he died. He took all his friends KIA to heaven with him.

  4. Larry Price says:

    I was looking to find a pic that i remember of Marines burying scorched ammo from the first explosion of the ammo dump, i was only yards from it and in the pic and thought it was in TIME mag but can;t find it. I spent July67-Mar68 at Khe Sanh and wounded by mortar fire on Mar 8th and medevaced. It was Hell for weeks and lost a great(home town) friend there with me and fellow great Marine Rich Healey.
    B. Co. 3rd. Recon 3rd. Marine Div.

    • Vic Hernandez says:

      Hey Bigge Rat…..E-mail……The 2nd plt is having a reunion in Vegas in Aug 2011

    • Joe McCabe says:

      3d Recon 1968… must have known Terry Graves and Jeff Bodenweiser…two of my TBS classmates. Terry was killed that year and was awarded the MOH; Bodenweiser died of a brain tumor (agent orange ?) about three years ago.

      Regards, Joe McCabe, Largo, Florida

  5. Donald Severson says:

    It has been 41 years since I was pulled out of Khe Sanh. Early Feburary 1968. I wanted to say thank you to all the men and women who served. To this day I don’t remember what unit I
    served with all I can remember is that I was a marine in a rock quarry outside of the fire base. No names only hard times and
    one lingering thought we stood our ground. A special thank you
    to the US Army I saw only one small army unit in 6months.
    Thank you to that special group of men who fired the 106 recoiless that help
    save our bacon during an early morning fire fight in early February
    God Bless you all
    Marine Sgt Don Severson

  6. Col_BradleyUSMC ret. says:

    I too spent my youth at Khe Sanh, and in 4 long forever months I became an old man. I was an 8541 mos a scout/marines know the other part of the mos. I was an enlisted Marine, became a Mustang after returning stateside. One of my thoughts about
    Khe Sanh, as a scout in late Nov/Dec ’67 we reported a large NVA build up with numbers and units over 10k. From personel experience it is a Hell of alot easier to bring support before you are engaged and under fire. I’ve long held that the powers from Gen. Westmoreland to LBJ administration in order to ralley the American People to support the War knew what was in the wind for Us. Marine Larry Price observed Time, Mag in his comments. They could get the press in, why not more Marines and supplies?

    There is one memory that I believe speaks for all of Us that where at Kha Sanh and all the wars we have fought. It was written on a K-ration box up near the HQ
    “There is a Love of Freedom for whose who fight and die, that the sheltered will Never know.” When the demons come I try to remember those words.
    Semper Fi My Brothers

  7. Richard S. Churchill says:

    Although I am viewing this on the on-line edition I do have the issue with this article. I am the radio operator pictured in the article. Arriving in-country during the first week of the Tet Offensive, this was my first major operation with the 2nd Bn 7th Cav. From our Bn LZ we could see Khe Sanh and the continuing supply drops, also we could hear and monitored the constant firefights as the Bn attempted a break through. My boss S-3 Don Monson pictured also, and my Bn CO LtCol Roscoe Robinson, were under daily stress from the amount of casualities we were taking as we progressed toward Khe Sanh. During this period LtCol Robinson was awarded the Silver Star for ordering his C&C helo into a very hot LZ to extract wounded, when the medavac refused. Trust me I was listening on the radio and then when his helo landed in our LZ I counted 28 different bullet holes in the bird

  8. Tim Caiola says:

    I was on Gun #4 in the 155 battery at the north end of the base. I had a friend , Steve Hellwig that was killed in the first week of the battle. I never really knew what happened to him. We went to the same high school in Seattle, WA. I think often of the ones I served with in my gun battery. I hope they are all doing fine. It was a lif time ago. And I’m still sad because it was all so useless. The damn politicans would’nt let us win. And that asshole Westmoreland was a Liar

  9. mike leibold says:

    khe sanh tet hill ,,,,,,,,,,,,,……………


  10. daniel viola says:

    To all those you do not know what the viet nam war was all about and say we lost are doing all those you served and gave the ultimate sacrifice a bad and shameful dishonor.It was about containing communism,so when and if you go to viet nam enjoy your big mac and coke!!! Who won??Thank you to all the VN vets god bless you.By the way who the f… is walter cronkite that all of america should listen and even care what he had to say??He was nothing but another liberal news man that went with the flow and was nowhere near a military exspert,i never liked him or his opions then or till the day he died.What a laugh if it wasn’t so sad that people and so called history books say we lost the tet offensive,the whole v.c. infrastructure was desroyed and thousands of nva were killed,get real and quit that big lie finally,God Bless D.V.

  11. gene prindle says:

    I was with 1st Battalion 9th Marines, we were brought in the day after the ammo dump was hit, we were given the primeter out-side the main compound. We started digging and did not stop until i rotated out in April. I salute the men I had pleasure to serve with, God bless
    all of the men and women that served then, now and in the past.
    God bless the United States of America

  12. Fred W. Clarke says:

    Guys, just a kid who watched on TV. Just want to say thanks to the real heros who sacraficed for our freedom. Easy to critisize alot tougher to Do ! Semper Fi !

  13. Tim Whelan says:

    My brother, Tim Whelan was an M79 man for 1st Battallion 26th Marine Division Alpha Company 1st platoon. He was in Khe San on Hill 861 from Jan 21 1968 to March 18t 1968. He was wounded-broken leg in 3 places shrapnel all over his body from a claymore type mine and lost vision in one eye from the shrapnel. He stayed in for a little while after recooperating and taulght War College at Quantico Virginia. Unfortunately he was RIFFED (reduction on force) because of his loss of eyesight and is now on 100 percent disability.
    He is now living in Debary FL.(in Volusia County) Please contact me at my email address (his brother) at

    He is lklooking forward to hearing from any of you out there especially Earl Coyne.

  14. John W. says:

    I’m looking at all the comments here, and after reading about Khe Sanh before, i just want to thank all the Vietnam Vets out there! It’s really amazing to read the vets’ posts. Thanks again! God bless you guys! Semper Fi

  15. Roger Spoonmore says:

    I am seeking any information/pictures of my best friend and classmate that was killed in Feb 1968 at Khe Sanh. His name was Walter Michael Scott and he was from Bloomington, In. He quit school and joined the Marines his senior year (1966). We would have graduated together in May of 1967. Mike was so proud to be a Marine.

    I am a old AF ACFT mechanic that worked on 01’s and 02’s. I was stationed out with the Army at DI AN almost the whole year of 1969.. We were FAC guys.

    Please feel free to contact me if you remember Mike or have some pics to share with me.

    My email is

    Roger D Spoonmore

  16. Earl Litz says:

    US Navy Special Operations Squadron VO67 dropped sensors around Khe Sanh before and during the seige, and along the HCM Trail. Our website will have information about our involvement with Khe Sanh, along with comments by Chaplain Stubbe from Khe Sanh who stated without the involvement of VO67’s sensors, the firebase would possibly have been overrun. We, the surviving former crewmembers of VO 67, hold our brothers from Khe Sanh very dear to our hearts, as we lost twenty one crewmembers while defending Khe Sanh from the air. VO67 wasn’t declassified until 1998 and when we were decommissioned in July of 1968, we were told never to discuss our mission in Vietnam. Many still carry the scars of those missions to this very day.

  17. James Carlson says:

    I too lost my childhood their And i left the base on the 68 day while on patrol out side the wire when i was hit with mortor fire I am sad I could not stay with my Marine buddies it still haunts me today Semper Fi

  18. James Carlson says:

    One more post i still have the demons today

  19. Edward Ballard says:

    I arrived in Khe Sahn in late Feb 1968. They tossed us out of the choppers on the LZ’s about 10 feet off the ground. They messed up my orders and sent me as a radio operator, but I was a infantry weapons repairman. Well they kept me anyway and put me in a hole guarding the airstrip with a 50 cal machine gun. I saw alot of death and will never forget those body bags stacked on the LZ for months.
    I hope my fellow Marines are doing ok, I have had many problems since I returned in 1969. Semper Fi

    • david johnson says:

      would like to say welcome home to all the marines that served in vietnam.i was a marine from 1982 to 1985 and served with lots of returning vietnam horifies me what you guys went through at khe sahn and every other battle.its obvious if they would have stuck with it we would have won hands down.we won the battles the politicians didnt have the guts to stick it to them when we could have.anyway to hell with the people that protested back then i know it was a different era but that is unforgiveable to me.anyway from one marine to another welcome home semper fi

    • joe r. taylor says:

      I arrived at Khe Sanh on February 22, ’68; I lost my orders and was sent to KSCB as a radio operator (2531) for Alpha Battery, 1/13…! You must have rode the same CH-47 helicopter as I did…! I vaguely remember two or three other Marines on that fateful chopper ride. Unbeknownst to me, I was carrying their mailbag that day when I reported to the battery-commander…!!!

      Contact me at—my name is joe r. taylor.

  20. clausen, erdwin j says:

    to: DONALD SEVERSON We did stand our ground.It sounds like to me you were w/1ST BATT. 9TH MARINES. i WAS bRAVO 1/9 1st platoon.

  21. clausen, erdwin j says:

    HI, Gene Primdle welcome home. I was with bravo co.1/9.What co. were you with? DO YOU REMEMBER HM3 Leonard Long, one of the bravest men i have ever known. do you remember the hill # we used for oujr listening post? I was severly wounded march 28, 1968. Hit by shrapnel from 82mm mortar round 2ft. away. was told i would not survive chopper ride to hospital. Is it possible you remember this incident. My email address is:

  22. Jerry Earhart says:

    I was on hills 861 and 881; I cannot forget the body bags stacked up on the L.Z. on our way out to Phu Bi, then to Hue City and back to Khe Sawn. I was wounded three times,whent to Youkouska,Japan hospital,on Hospital ship Hope, and Camron Bay I could not and still have not told my family about the events of Viet Nam,Its been 43 years Semper Fi A 1/1 1 st platoon

  23. James O.Finnegan,M.D. says:

    I have read many accounts of casualty #’s in Vietnam and particularly in KheSanh. I was the C.O. of Charlie Med during the siege. Our casualty log recorded 2500 entries. The log was turned over to the C.O. of the 3rd MedBtn who published then]m in an article in Penna. Medicine in the early 70’s. The casualty figures are also listed in a letter to Commandant Cushman from Dr. Don Magilligan, one of the members of my surgical team ( I have a Copy of same ).Why has there never been any reference to our #’s in any of the reports about KheSanh casualties?

    James O.Finnegan,M.D.(former C.O.,C-Med,KheSanh

  24. joe r. taylor says:

    As a poet, I have run across confusing figures about the numbers of KIA, WIA’s, and the number of NVA surrounding us. At the time of the siege, we of ALPHA BATTERY, 1/13 were told, we were 6,000 friendlies, surrounded by 60,000 NVA, two divisions were hard-core soldiers from Dien Bien Phu’s defeat of the French…! In my poems, I stick with the figures I was told at the time. If interested in reading my poems; check it out on ALLPOETRY.COM and type in taylorndncar…!

    • Jim Carmichael says:

      Joe, a buddy of mine in Echo Co., went back to Vietnam 3 or 4 times in the 80’s & 90’s. He had many Vietnamese contacts in Omaha, so they helped him. He told me he met an NVA General who was at Khe Sanh, & he showed Dave maps, etc., & said that the North sent down approx. 120,000 to Khe Sanh. Of course I can’t confirm any of this b/c it was all verbal, but that is what Dave told me. I trust Dave when he gets serious about things. He was WIA right before Tet. That General told him the B-52’s killed 30,000. 25,000 to 35,000 headed for the hills or were captured, & who knows how many were WIA. Then there are the vast numbers they didn’t find at all. I’ve rounded off the figures b/c I don’t think the NVA kept accurate info, especially when it started getting serious. I hope this helps. I was on hill 861a w/ Echo, 2/26 during the siege. Weapons Plt., 60 mortars.

      • joe r. taylor says:

        Jim; Thank you for that information. I writing my poetry, I want to accurately retell what I know of my whole experience there in that country and I appreciate any kind of info, at age sixty-three, my mind is starting to “slip gears” on me and I keep copious notes to remember that place, where so many put their lives on the line and some gave their ultimate sacrifice. The way I look at it is; “so many died in my place, so I could write about their sacrifice…!”

    • Jim Carmichael says:

      Joe, I thank God for putting me in that place & on that hill. Without those experiences & the rest of my tour I might not have hit rock bottom. That was crucial. It was at the bottom that Christ Jesus found me. He showed me in the Bible that I had broken His law & that God’s condemning wrath would destroy me at His judgment unless I repented of my rebellion to His will. Vietnam was not my greatest problem, God’s just anger toward rebellious men like me was (There’s none righteous, no not one). Then He declared His mercy to me via Christ’s life & death work, & by His enabling grace I turned from my sin, and put my faith in His Son, i.e., I believed what Jesus did on my behalf & I stopped trusting in my own “goodness” & ability. He made me just in God’s sight, & thus began the healing process. It has been 40 + years of trial, pain, & difficulty, but I would not trade any of it b/c God’s work in Christ is perfect. I’ve never been happier & more fulfilled, not even before I joined the Corps. Semper fi.

      • joe r. taylor says:

        Jim, ‘Nam affected us in many ways, most of them very profound. Views can vary as well. For most of my young adult life, the war affected me in a negative way; but, as I grew older, I accepted what happened to me and those I barely knew during that time. As part of an arty Forward Observer team, I worked with all the companies of 1/26th, especially around the Hai Van Pass (just north of DaNang) and I was in and out of the arty battery. I wasn’t constantly exposed to the monotonous dangers of snipers or being on patrols (though I did my share of patrols and parimeter-watch) and those I lost acquaintances from time to time, I didn’t lose anyone close and that made the difference in my tour. I hope, you are well and secure. As for myself; I have strange symptoms and a nervous condition that can’t be explained. We were all exposed to Agent Orange at Khe Sanh and a lot of us are dying of cancers caused by that exposure. I have no clue as to my condition, but chances are, it’s my exposure to those chemicals. Good luck to you…!!!

      • Jim Carmichael says:

        Joe, let’s think about this. You are telling me that once again you are looking at your own mortality. You are going to die. Are you ready to die? Even if Agent Orange is the physical cause, you still have to face a just God. It is appointed to men once to die, but after that comes judgment. There is one Judge & Lawgiver who is able to save & to destroy. Are you ready to face Him? His standard is not whether or not you fought for your country. It is perfect righteousness. You shall be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. That leaves all of us out. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. And Abraham believed God & (his belief) was counted to him as righteousness. Simply by believing what God says means we are declared righteous in God’s sight. Cursed is everyone who does not keep all the law, 24/7. Think about it Joe. You are going to die at some point. The fact that you are still suffering for your service – thank you for your service – will not be weighed by Jesus at the judgment. Only Jesus’ righteousness will.

  25. Scott C. says:

    Thanks to every guy who fought at Khe Sanh, and to those who paid the ultimate price. God bless you all. You will never be forgotten. Even though we the american people can never fully understand what you went through…please know we love you!!

  26. Ret;MSG John C. McGovern says:

    I arrived at Khe Sanh 12 Jan 68 and was transfered to Phu Bia 1 Jun 68. At Khe Sanh I was assigned to SOG”s FOB #3 as a assistant Recon Team Leader of a Bru Team. When my Team Leader left, I took over the team. We were not allowed in the Marine base and had to set up and dig in out side the base as we had about 600 to 900 Montagnards with us. We opened the gate and told them they could leave as there was no reason for them to die with us as we expected that to be our fate. I had 2 men who wanted to go check on their families. I did not think they would return but 1 week later they returned and no Montagnards left us. Special Forces is still trying to get them out of Vietnam as they are being hunted down and killed like animals. Their site is the Contact me if you wish at

  27. Dan F. says:

    I lost my 1st cousin Lcpl. Alan J. Damian(from Guam), at Khe Sahn, on 27Jun67, he was with A co. 1st Bn. 26th Marines, 3rd MarDiv. He and seven others were killed by a mortar barrage that dreadful day.
    I was nearing the end of high school in 1972 and was expecting like the thousands before get drafted and get sent to Nam, Pres. Nixon had just gotten elected and had other intentions and I was spared. I did serve proudly for 8yrs and was not called to fight in any wars but was willing too if called.To all those who served at Khe Sahn, from one vet to another, I honor your service and sacrifice. God Bless you all and your families.

  28. Douglas Sinclair,Sgt. USMC says:

    I was a 2171(0ptical Instrument Repairman) with 3rd FSR FLSG B based at Dong Ha from April 68 til November 68. I was in and out of Khe Sahn numerous times working on the fire control systems on the 155s & 105s. During boot camp I ended up with David Bowman in my same Platoon. We were from the same town here in Texas. After ITR we went to Quntico, Vir. for our schools in our MOS’s. David was in Communicaton’s.This was in 1966. During one of my visit’s to Khe Sahn, I was trying to catch a ride back to Dong Ha. This was during one of the times that they were dismantiling and closing Khe Sahn. I was walking along a line of trucks in a convoy and looked up and there was David Bowman driving one of the trucks. On the way back David told me he had been at Khe Sahn the duration and that at one point was a Radioman for one of the grunt units and then I guess the rest of his stay was doing something in Commmunication;s. We both got back here to our home town in 1970 and see each other once in awhile. Semper Fi

  29. L/CPL George Eldridge says:

    I belong to the Marine Corps League of Seymour, Ct. we have a Building that is dedicated to a L/CPL Ronald Randall we are looking for information on him, because he deserves a lot better memorial then just having a builden named after him. We want to do a nice memorial for him. If anyone knew him please comtact me. Thank You.

  30. Joe White says:

    My brother was killed at khe sanh in 68. He was charlie company He was wounded a bit before then he was shot in the shoulder n I believe was recovering at khe sahn when it waas attacked He was a flame thrower person He was killed by a morter I was wondering if anyone knew him? His name is Charles White PFC. My mom said he was killed at that hill they made the movie about. Or if anyone could tell me how to get information about him I would really appreciate it. He went over there with 7 buddies n only 2 came back alive. One of his close friends was Larry Jones he made it home he was atunnel rat guy He use to bring picks of him self over to our house showing himself holding the heads of those he killed by there hair …THANK YOU VIETNAM VETS you r the true warriors

  31. Jim Carmichael says:

    Has anyone viewed a color picture of hills 861 & 861a on one of these Khe Sanh websites? If so, would you please contact me & let me know what that website is? I served on 861a during the siege. Thanks.

  32. Ron Wheeler says:

    I was with an MP unit stationed at Danang Air Base MAG 11 MAABS 11. In Sept of 1967 was sent to Khe Sahn stayed there about 3 months helping fortify the base & received motar attacks & sniper fire. We helped make large ditches & that is where we slept. We were sent back to Danang just before Tet. I wish that I could remember more of what happen & for some reason even though I try I can’t remember a whole lot. I guess my mind doesn’t want to remember. But I know alot of my friends were KIA over there, I just don’t understand how I made it through.

  33. Hermann Obereth says:

    Does anyone have a link to or memory of what happened in Khe Sanh on August 9 &10 1966.

    Was the Small Army SF unit attacked by NVA

    This would have been just before the Sea Bees came to snap landing mats together.

    Simper Fi

  34. Cpl. Kenneth V. Balletta 2/27-3/5 says:

    I was in the all green, 27th Marines, 2/27 to be exact. Boot camp Parris Island, So. Carolina, 3rd Bn , yeah, Disneyland (only brick barracks of the three) Platoon 3000 THUNDERING 36. Sgts Rudock, Fletcher and a third Sgt. i don’t remember his name. Sept. 10th we started training together……February 1968, the all green, 27th Marines started dying together. God rest their souls……and our minds.

  35. Joe Abodeely says:

    The Marines were under siege until the 1st Air Calvary Division’s Operation Pegasus relieved them on April 8, 1968. They did not fight or break their way out of the siege (as some Marines claim) as they could not go up and down highway 9 until the airmobile infantry (augmented with some Marines and ARVNs) cleared the road to the Khe Sanh Fire Base. They had to be resupplied by the Air Force with LAPE methods. The Air Force had bombed the AO around KSFB with fantastic bomb tonnage, and the NVA were still there keeping the Marines from sending two companies per the contingency plan to aid Lang Vei Special Forces camp when it was attacked by NVA tanks. Air Force bombing did not drive the NVA away as some USAF proponents claim. If the NVA left before the 1st Air Cavalry conducted Operation Pegasus (because they “heard about it”)–when was that? And if they did–so much the better. The art of war is not defeating your enemy in a hundred battles–it is putting him in a position whereby he must capitulate. (Sun Tzu). Even the famous History Channel with its recent Vietnam series comments that the air force drove the NVA away so the 1st Cavalry Division could relieve KSFB. When did the Air Force drive them away because we were still fighting them in Operation Pegasus? USAF bombing was important, but not decisive. The 1st Air Cavalry “boots on the ground” are what drove the NVA away, cleared Route 9, and relieved the Marines from the siege at Khe Sanh Fire Base. Give the 1st Air Cav the credit it deserves for breaking the siege of Khe Sanh and clearing Route 9.

    • dennis puleo usmc (ret) says:

      Khe Sahn began with the “Hill Fights” ( 861 & 881 ) in late April 1967 … most “overlook” or forget that…. a 13 day battle that eventually changed the head count of Marines on the air strip from something like 125 + to over 3000 in Jan 1968….. by then i was already in a Naval hospital in Boston ….
      I was part of the Hill fights …. w/ USMC 1/9 … hit 3 times on April 26th 1967…shot twice / hit by a hand grenade / hit by a 81 mm mortar …. was dragged down that hill by America’s finest hero’s ….. recieved “last rites” next morning @ 5am …went to USS Sanctuary….where they put me together & saved my life.
      Today I have same wife ( 42 yrs) & 2 great kids … how blessed am i to have survived and I live on the shoulders of those fine men who dragged me down that hill at the risk of losing their own lives. I thank my God / my fellow Marines; and my M-60. If i ever return ; i am bringing it with me.. !

      • Joe Abodeely says:

        The battles of Khe Sanh did begin withthe hill fights. The Marines did not originally want to go to Khe Sanh–or at least General Walt did not want his Marines there. Westmoreland, his boss, believed Khe Sanh was a strategic location, so the Marines built up the KSFB little by little. The Marines had the hill fights where they eventually controlled the hills overlooking KSFB. They were bloody fights, but the Marines did a great job of controlling the AO although greatly surrounded and outnumbered by the NVA. Tet saw the great buildup of the NVA and the ultimated siege of the fire base.

    • joe r. taylor says:

      Glad you took a correspondence course in reading history because your logic of events are a bit eschewed: The siege wasn’t lifted on April 8; the operation to relieve the siege ended on April 30th, but the arty and mortar pounding continued,…and lives were still being lost until mid-May (this fact accounts for the “low numbers” of KIA and WIA during the siege). I remember well the 54’s (helicopters that looked like grasshoppers) slinging-in the soda machines and pallets of C-rats,…the smell of steaks cooking on open-flamed grills, while us Marines ate cold C-rats from the can…! We were Westmoreland’s step-children and the “Screaming Eagles” were his favorites…! We spent longer than seventy-seven days at our post and toward the end even food and water was in short supply. But, I forgive the 101st because we supported “Westmoreland’s Elite” while you guys were getting your asses kicked in the Ashau Valley…!!!

      • Joe Abodeely says:

        Operation Pegasus was April 1 to April 8–the siege was officially lifted then and Route 9 was cleared so Marine engineers could go out and repair bridges. I was not with the “Screaming Eagles” (101st Airborne Division). I was with the 2/7 Cavalry of the 1st Air Cavalry Division–the ones who cleared Route 9 into Khe Sanh–the lead elemernt to lift the siege. There may have been some casualties after April 8, but the siege was over.

    • Peter Brush says:

      There are at least three histories of Khe Sanh: the Marine history, the Vietnamese Communist history ( a great Communist victory), and the Cav history (see above). The last two represent historical revisionism at its worst. According to Marine LtGen Victor Krulak, CG, FMFPac, “Operation Pegasus was an unwarranted diversion of resources. By mid-March 1968, it became clear that the enemy strength around Khe Sanh was fading away. It was obvious that the forces and resources being committed to a relief expedition might now better be applied elsewhere.” The Marines did not need to “go up and down highway 9.” Khe Sanh had been supplied by air for months. The Marines did not rescue the Army at Lang Vei because they knew it was an NVA ambush. The Marines had advised the Army at Lang Vei before the fighting started to abandon Lang Vei and move to Khe Sanh base. Most of the NVA had left before the Cav even began preparations for Pegasus (see Krulak’s statement above). The Marine engineers who opened Route 9 built signs along the highway similar to the old Burma Shave road signs: THANK YOU — ARMY — FOR RESCUING US — BUT THE *UCKING WAR — IS OVER.

  36. joe r. taylor says:

    I only know what I was told and what I witnessed: Your history is a little backward; the “official” termination of the siege was announced on April 1st—The reopening of Route 9 was announced on April 8th. USAF is appreciated for their pinpoint bombing, “ARC-Light”, but they were a part of a concerted efforted by Navy, Marine, and South Vietnamese air forces!

    The only “Dog-face” patches I witnessed were the “Screaming Eagles”. You seem to want to overcompensate your participation: This page is meant to account and correspond figures of dead heroes and heroic survivors of the seventy-seven days of siege at Khe Sanh. You descecrate our mourning of friends and close kin with your “heroic” self-tribute. Please, leave us in peace and find your own webpage. Thank you!!!

    • Joe Abodeely says:

      It does no good to go round and round with a guy who just doesn’t know what he is talking about. Read LTG Tolson’s report on Operation Pegasus which was the 1st Air Cavalry (not 101st Airborne) operation to relieve the Marines from the siege. It doesn’t matter what you think you “witnessed” from a bunker as a radio operator–the facts are the facts. My comments are not for personal aggrandizement–they are to set the record straight about the service of many sky troopers who did a great thing in that operation. Yes, many 1st Air Cavalry soldiers also died to relieve the Marines from the siege. I just don’t like to have uninformed people spouting off misstatements which don’t give credit where credit is due thereby insulting the sacrifices that those soldiers made. Read a little–Operation Pegasus was a 1st Cav operation augmented by some ARVNs and Marines with USAF bombing. But the Cav went in and fought the NVA, cleared Route 9, and relieved the Marines from the siege at Khe Sanh.

      • joe r. taylor says:

        Is that your mission here on this page,…”to inform the uninformed…?” Go tell it to the 101st and see what that gets you…!!!

      • Peter Brush says:

        Joe, I don’t understand your desire to “set the record straight” and concern about not getting “credit where credit is due.” 1st ACD participated in Operation Pegasus, and suffered casualties. That’s common knowledge and no one is claiming differently. Operation Pegasus was not a “1st Air Cav operation.” Pegasus was a joint operation. There were 10,000 Marines and the 3d ARVN Airborne Task Force in Pegasus. Compared to either the 1st or 2nd battles of Khe Sanh, Pegasus casualtites were light. That’s because most of the NVA at Khe Sanh had left before Pegasus started. The 1st ACD doesn’t get any credit for the battle of Khe Sanh because they were not in it.

        One reason the Pegasus forces were so large is that in addition to opening Route 9, Westmoreland wanted Pegasus to continue into Laos and cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This was Westmoreland’s plan well into Pegasus. When it became clear permssion was not going to be granted, Pegasus plans were changed. That’s why suddently, beginning on April 11, the 1st ACD began leaving the Khe Sanh TAOR for the A Shau Valley. Pegasus ended April 15. It began on April 1, and enemy contact only began in earnest on April 4. There were only about 11 days of fighting in Pegasus. The siege of Khe Sanh lasted 11 weeks. Big difference.

  37. Joe Abodeely says:

    Peter: There were 6000 Marines under siege at Khe Sanh for 78 days. LBJ did not want Khe Sahn to become another Dien Ben Phu.
    Operation Pegasus was conducted by the 1st Air Cavalry Division. See Tolson’s report. Two Marine battalions moved west along Route 9 in the operation, but three brigades of air cavalry troopers, helicopters, artillery, etc. did the leap-frogging to clear the area of the NVA, to clear Route 9, and to breake the siege. My point has always been to highlight the gigantic air assault conducted by an entire division. I don’t know how you claim 10,000 Marines were involved in Operation Pegasus unless you are counting the guys at Khe Sanh who were actually under the siege and could not effectively leave the perimeter. I have never said that the Cav should get any cretdit for the battle at Khe Sanh between the Marines and the NVA. You are right–the Cav was not in that. As to your point that most of the NVA left before Pegasus started. I don’t know how many NVA were in the area, and YOU don’t know, and obviously all the brass did not know–otherwise the Marines would have been going up and down Route 9 to the Rock Pile or to Lang Vei. Regarding your observation about why Pegasus was so large–it was large to do its three-fold mission–kill the NVA, end the siege, clear Route 9. And olson planned to go to the a Shau Valley–which we did. Regarding the contact with the enemy. There is a line in the Patton movie where George C. Scott says–You don’t win the war by dieying for your country–you win by making the other dumb son of a bitch die for his country. The Cav had the capabilitry of aerial observation and fire support with its helicopters. It wasn’t as easy for the NVA to ambush us as it was for them to ambush Marines–some like the Jacques patrol right outside the wire. I know that NVA were there when we got there and we were able to clear Route 9 and get the engineers back on the bridges. Pegasus may have technically operationaly ended on April 15, and the Cav went to the a Shau Valley, but Marines and NVA still had contact afterwards. So I guess they all didn’t go–just enough left to allow the Cav to come in. Maybe they left because it WAS the Cav coming in. My major point is that the Air Cavalry was an effective concept and due to stupid Army politics, it was transferred to the 101st who have screwed up the concept. So there is no misunderstanding–I am not taking anything away from the guys who put up with the hell of Khe Sanh.

    • Peter Brush says:

      Joe, It’s “Khe Sanh,” not “Khe Sahn,” and the Marines didn’t want it to turn become another Dien Bien Phu either.

      Reason I “claim” there were 10,000 Marines in Operation Pegasus is because there were. The battalions were 1/26, 2/26, 3/26, 1/9, 1/13, 1/1, 2/1, 2/3, and 1/11. You may feel the Marines from the 26th Marines should not be included, but they were. By that I mean the operation is listed in our service records.

      I don’t know *personally” how many NVA were in the Khe Sanh TAOR. I do know that NVA POWs state that the 325C division had left, except for the 8th Bn, 29th Regiment, and 2nd Bn, 101D Regiment. The 304th division had also left, except for small groups to harass outposts and reinforcements. See MAVC Command History, 1968, Vol. I, pp. 158-159. US intelligence sources also claim most NVA had left by the end of March.

      There is lots of detail on the number and disposition of NVA in “B5-T8 in 48 QXD : the Secret Official History of the North Vietnamese Army of the Siege at Khe Sanh, Vietnam, Spring, 1968,” published by the Khe Sanh Veterans, Inc. It is a classified NVA history of the 325th and 304th Divisions. It includes their version of Operation Pegasus, and the role of the 1st ACD in it. It’s available on

      The Marines didn’t “go up and down Route 9” for various reasons, including the fact that dozens of bridges and culverts had to be repaired/replaced before the road could handle heavy traffic. This was in addition to clearing NVA ambush sites on both the north and south of Route 9. Most of the bridges and culverts had been destroyed by the weather, not the NVA. Keep in mind the road was closed to vehicle traffic long before the NVA came into Khe Sanh in large numbers.

      Another reason was lack of transport for the Marines at Khe Sanh, most of which had been damaged and destroyed by NVA incoming during the siege. For example in my unit, a heavy mortar battery, 17 of 21 vehicles were rendered not usable during the fighting.

      Obviously the NVA were there when you got there. In fact, NVA stayed in the area until around October, 1969. Ray Stubbe has published a book titled “Battalion of Kings” that lists all the Americans killed in the Khe Sanh area, start to end. It contains names, dates and details on the deaths of all US, including the 1st ACD soldiers killed in Operation Pegasus.

      Another reason I know the NVA had mostly left by the end of March is because I got to Khe Sanh on December 17, 1967, before the fighting started. I left on April 16, 1968 after the end of Pegasus. It was obvious by the end of March most of the NVA had left. You could tell by our greatly diminished casualty rates, and the reduction in the amount of incoming. I can tell you we felt the battle was over before the Army came to the base.

      Obviously the Army and Marines disagree on the role of Operation Pegasus. That makes sense: the Army and Marines disagreed on most everything in Vietnam.

      I’ve written a lot about Khe Sanh, including this article. Check out my website if you are interested (Google my name and Khe Sanh). You might enjoy reading my article “Uncommon Ground: Interservice Rivalry in I Corps” from Vietnam magazine, October, 1999, pp. 22-28, about how in addition to fighting the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army, the U.S. Marine Corps also had a fight on its hands with the U.S. Army and Air Force.

  38. Ron W says:

    Why in the hell are you people arguing about something that we lost so many of our friends. Who in the hell cares who cleared the road. It was cleared by Vietnam Vets & we are all Brothers who belong to the the US Military. I was at Khe Sahn but left just before TET & we were getting hit then . There was alot of NVA there we knew that & alot of good men died. So quit arguing about what did what & who did who. Just remember all of our brothers who gave the greatest for our country.

  39. Joe Abodeely says:

    I think NVA were in the area of the DMZ and the Laotian/Viet Nam border whenever they wanted to be. The Ho Chi Minh trail (path of travel for men and supplies) was across the border and safe from US bombing and troop incursion until the Cambodian assault by the 1st Cavalry, et al. They moved around at will. Remember, enough were available to take Saigon in 1975. I don’t believe they all went “home” and came back later–I thinkthey slipped back and forth across borders at will knowing we would respect territorial boundaries which for the most part we did.

    • Peter Brush says:

      Good grief. The US Air Force and Navy began bombing Laos in 1964, six years before the 1st ACD invaded Cambodia. Bombing big-time, too: E.g., 8,000 missions in January, 1966 alone.

      • Joe Abodeely says:

        Well, obviously, it was not the intensity of bombing that prevented at least two NVA divisions from putting Khe Sanh Combat Base under siege. The Air Force likes to think that it wins wars through bombing–it doen’t. Nothing is really definitive until the infantry occupies and controls the battle field. If your point is that the NVA were not safe in Laos or Cambodia, perhaps you are right, but my point is that they were fluid in movement as the history of the Ho Chi Minh Trail shows. The bottom line is that ALL the NVA were not gone from the AO when Pegasus commenced. If the NVA started or continued to leave the AO when they saw armadas of helicopters of the 1st Air Cavalry division, so much the better. I am a firm believer in the art of war being making one’s enemy capitulate–not hey, diddle, diddle, right down the middle with the bayonet fixed to the .45 pistol. The latter is a good way to get good men killed needlessly.

  40. Joe Abodeely says:

    Peter: You got me. I misspelled Khe Sanh. That’s what happens when you get old. Let me see if I can explain myself better so we are not talking cross-wise at each other. First, the original battles regarding Khe Sanh occured a year before the siege–they were in the hill fights where the Marines took the high ground. Second, with Tet 1968, all hell broke loose around the country and the NVA moved their large concentration of troops to effect a siege on KSFB. There was the rocketing, the motaring, the artillery fire from Laos, etc. Aircraft could not land safely to bring supplies; hence, LAPES. Third, the Marines were in a relatiely static position occupying the base such there was no significant manuevering or use of Route 9 to Lang Vei or to the Rock Pile or to Ca Lu. You make my point about the bridges needing to be replaced–which they were AFTER the Cav cleared Route 9. Fourth, Operation Pegasus had a three-fold mission–clear Route 9, kill NVA, and end the siege. That is not my opinion–that was the mission. Fifth, there were elements of TWO NVA divisions according to what you state. That does not give us an exact count, but obviously the number was enough to keep the Marines still under siege, still being resupplied by LAPES, and still not conducting significant patrolling outside the perimeter or along Route 9. It appears that your strongest argument that the NVA left is “It is obvious by the end of March most of the NVA had left. You could tell by our greatly diminished casualty rates, and the reduction in the amount of incoming. I can tell you we felt the battle was over before th Army came to the base.” Did it ever occur to you that the increased bombing caused the NVA to button up somewhat? By your own statement you have elements of two divisions in the area. It doesn’t take much to pin people down or deny acces to main travel routes–and that is what the NVA did. Regarding the 10,000 Marines supposedly involved in Operation Pegasus–Pegasus was a gigantic air cavalry operation involving three air cavalry brigades augmented by two Marine battalions and ARVNs. I don’t know how the Marines count participating in an operation in their service records, but I’m suspecting it may be like the difference between being a Viet Nam veteran and a Viet Nam era veteran. You cite MACV Command History which claimed “most NVA had left by the end of March.” Assuming that were correct–originally there were two NVA divisions. If “most” left, how many is that–51%? You could still have half a division or a third of a division or a fourth of a division in the TAOR. My main reason for presenting these points is to show the value of an air cavalry division as shown by the 1st Air Cavalry Division. If the 1st Air Cav had not conducted Operation Pegasus, how many more Marines’ lives would have been lost? Would LAPES go on indefinitely? Would NVA artillery start up again? Would more NVA return to ambush Marine patrols or attack the hill outposts? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I know that Operation Pegasus killed NVA, cleared Route 9, and ended the siege–for sure. You are absolutely correct about inter-service rivalry. General Walt did not want his Marines at Khe Sanh. Marines don’t like to fight in static positions. But people in higher pay grades called the shots (no pun intended). The Air Force did not want air cavalry because the Cav would compete with it with aircraft for close in support. If you have ever read Anatomy of a Division by Shelby Stanton–it describes what the 1st Air Cav was. It did cavalry missions–raids, blocking, flanking, assaults, recon, etc–using helicopters for quick manuevering and transport of troops to the battle. The 1st Air Cav was the only unit in Viet Nam which could move that much that quickly to Khe Sanh. I take nothing away from the brave Marines who endured Khe Sanh–the Cav was not in the siege.. But the Cav did something no other unit–Army of Marine–could do, and that was the relief of Khe Sanh by ending the siege definitively.

  41. Peter Brush says:

    Joe, again you mention the 10,000 Marines “supposedly involved in Operation Pegasus.” Frankly, I find the use of the word “supposedly” insulting. Look at Tolson’s book ‘Airmobility,’ p. 169. He notes the 26th Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Regiment were involved in the operation. Further, the 26th Marines began attacking NVA positions long before the 1st ACD got to the base. It’s not like we were trapped at Khe Sanh until you guys got there. The Marines and ARVN Rangers at Khe Sanh began attacking the NVA from the base in March (see Shore, details below, 126-130).

    Regarding how many NVA were around Khe Sanh when you got there, in 1969 the Marine Corps published their official history of the battle (Captain Moyers S. Shore, The Battle for Khe Sanh). It’s available online. It notes that by mid-March there was an exodus of major NVA units from the Khe Sanh TAOR, but they did retain enough troops to “maintain pressure and thus shelling and probes continued” (126). That’s why the threat from the NVA mostly seemed over before you guys got there: there is a huge difference between the end of January, when 20,000-40,000 NVA posed a real threat of overrunning the base, and early April, when most of them were dead or gone.

    Of course you are correct to note the 1st ACD had unique capabilities. You had something like 440 helicopters, probably more than the Marines had in Vietnam. But that’s not to say the relief of the base and end of the siege could not have been accomplished without the 1st ACD.

    We clearly differ on the significance of the role of the 1st ACD. You say only the 1st ACD could have relieved Khe Sanh and ended the siege. I can’t prove that something that did not happen could have happened, but it’s easy for me to imagine that the Marines and ARVN Airborne in Pegasus could have accomplished the same task, even if not as quickly. This is especially easy for me to imagine because there were more Marines and ARVNs in Pegasus than there were NVA around Khe Sanh, not to mention we had almost unlimited air power and the NVA had none.

    I’m glad the 1st ACD, the Marines, and the ARVN in Pegasus opened Route 9 from Ca Lu to Khe Sanh. Because of that, I got to leave Khe Sanh when I did (April 16). I was glad to leave, as Khe Sanh was a very grim place.

    Lastly, you mention the base being supplied by LAPES. There was more to it than that. See my article “The 109th Quartermaster Company (Air Delivery) and the Defense of Khe Sanh” which is available online. An edited version of the article was published as “The Joint Effort that Broke the Khe Sanh Siege,” in Army magazine in April 1997.

    • Peter Brush says:

      Joe, instead of inundating each other endlessly with details, maybe I can frame this simply in a way we can both agree with: you think the role of the 1st ACD in the relief of Khe Sanh was a lot more important than I do.

      How’s that?

  42. Joe Abodeely says:

    Peter: LTG Tolson’s report said: “To accomplish the mission, the 1st Cavalry Division would be augmented by the following non-divisional units: 1st Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Regiment, III Army of the Republic of Vietnam Airborne Task Force, and the 37th Army of the Republic of Vietnam Ranger Battalion. In all, I would have over 30,000 troops under my direct operational control.” He did NOT use all the Marines in the AO. Tolson further reported: “The basic concept of Operation PEGASUS was as follows: The 1st Marine Regiment with two battalions would launch a ground attack west toward Khe Sanh while the 3d Brigade would lead the 1st Cavalry air assault. On D+1 and D+2 all elements would continue to attack west toward Khe Sanh; and, on the following day, the 2d Brigade of the Cavalry would land three battalions southeast of Khe Sanh and attack northwest. The 26th Marine Regiment, which was holding Khe Sanh, would attack south to secure Hill 471. On D+4, the 1st Brigade would air assault just south of Khe Sanh and attack north. The following day the 3d Army of the Republic of Vietnam Airborne Task Force would air assault southwest of Khe Sanh and attack toward Lang Vei Special Forces Camp. Linkup was planned at the end of seven days.” My point was not to insult the efforts of the Marines but rather to clarify that 10,000 Marines were not actively involved in Operation Pegasus. Pegasus was an air mobile operation primarily conducted by an AIR CAVALRY DIVISION with the unique capabilities of such a unit–organic helicopters for troop transport, artillery transport, supply transport, and fire support and reconaissance. You make the point that the NVA did not have enough troops to overrun KSFB when the Cav arrived. You may be correct for the reason I’ve previously stated–they came and went at will. That is why the Cav was necessary to make sure they quit the siege and to open Route 9. The NVA were able to do more than harrass the base after the Cav left as the battle of Dai Do (not that many clicks away) showed. My question to you is that if the siege was over, why did command consider it still in existence and send the 1st Air Cavalry Division to end it? That was one of its specific missions–which it accomplished. If the siege was over before the Cav arrived, why were the Marines still not controlling Route 9 or the surrounding area? And, please, LAPES did not end the siege–it made it more bearable. LAPES did not kill NVA, clear route 9, or end the siege–the 1st Air Cavalry did. Let me be clear about NVA in the area–many fled but many did not and still needed to be cleared out. The Cav did that. LTG Tolson wrote in his report on Operation Pegasus: “At 0800 on 8 April the relief of Khe Sanh was effected and the 1st Cavalry Division became the new landlord. The 3d Brigade airlifted its command post into Khe Sanh and Colonel Campbell assumed the mission of securing the area. This was accomplished after the 2d Battalion, 7th Cavalry successfully cleared Highway Nine to the base and effected linkup with the 26th Marine Regiment. The 3d Brigade elements occupied high ground to the east and northeast of the base with no enemy contact. At- this time it became increasingly evident, through lack of contact and the large amounts of new equipment being found indiscriminately abandoned on the battlefield, that the enemy had fled the area rather than face certain defeat. He was totally confused by the swift, bold, many-pronged attacks. Operations continued to the west.” Sun Tzu, a famous Chinese warlord 2500 years ago is reputed to have said: Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. And so it was. I agree with you that I think the 1st Air Cavalry’s Operation Pegasus was more important in lifting the siege at Khe Sanh than you do. Go to the link of Breaking the Siege at Khe Sanh below.

    • Peter Brush says:

      Joe, one way to look at the contributions of both the 1st ACD and 26th Marines in Operation Pegasus is by examining casualties. As my article notes, casualties are complicated.

      The 1 ACD AAR on Opn PEGASUS (Tab D, Losses) shows 59 ACD KIA. The Provisional Corps Vietnam AAR on Opn PEGASUS shows 41 USA KIA. Stubbe’s Battalion of Kings lists 45 Cav KIA by name. I may have missed a few that did not have Cav unit designations that I recognize as Cav.

      The 26th Marine AAR for Opn PEGASUS lists 43 Marines KIA. Stubbe’s Battalion of Kings lists 50 KIA in the 26th Marines for Opn PEGASUS

      This shows that 26th Marines KIA and 1 ACD KIA were about the same. That’s in an operation you can’t even admit the 26th Marines participated in.

      • Joe Abodeely says:

        Casualities do not always tell the complete story. That was one of the problems with the entire war–success was measured by the number of casualities inflicted on the enemy–body count. and of course those numbers were not always accurate. Tactics influenced success. Marine tactics often were to charge into the fray and thereby incurr numerous casualities. Air cavalry tactics employed voluminous artillery barrages, helicopter gunship fire support, and the maneuvering of light infantry. The 1st Air Cavalry suffered less casualities than the Marines due to our capabilities and fire support in Pegasus. After clearing route 9, we provided some security when the bridges were being repaired. I remember seeing a Marine platoon with M-14 rifles, a 2.5 inch rocket launcher and older radios. Modern equipment also helps. Interestingly, the 1st Cavalry had the most casualities of any unit in Vietnam probably due to its size and active participation in numerous operations. LTG Tolson commented about the 26the Marines:
        “I was anxious to get the 26th Marine Regiment out of their static defense position as soon as feasible; so, on D+3, I ordered Colonel Lownds to make a battalion-size attack south from Khe Sanh to seize Hill 471, a strategic piece of terrain affording a commanding view of the base. Following a heavy artillery preparation, the Marines successfully seized the hill killing thirty of the enemy. On the same day, the 2d Brigade of the Cavalry Division assaulted one battalion into an old French fort south of Khe Sanh. Initial contact resulted in four enemy killed. The remaining uncommitted brigade was moved into marshalling areas.” Please stop misrepresenting that I have not given credit to the Marines in Operation Pegasus. I wish you’d give the air cavalry credit for ending the siege–most other reasonable people do.

  43. Peter Brush says:

    Joe, I see a lot of irony in your position. You’re concerned that many 1st ACD soldiers died to relieve the Marines in Operation Pegasus, and don’t like “uinformed people spouting off misstatements which don’t give credit where credit is due thereby insulting the sacrifices that those [Cav] soldiers made.”

    Yet you can’t bring yourself to admit the 26th Marines were even participants in Operation Pegasus. Whether they were or not is not a matter of opinion, yours or mine. It’s a matter of fact, a fact confirmed by the commander of the 1st ACD, General Tolson.

    60 soldiers died in Operation Pegasus, mostly troopers from the 1st ACD but also including a few Special Forces soldiers from FOB-3. 105 Marines died in Operation Pegasus, including Marines from the 26th Marine regiment, their corpsmen, Marines from other units in Pegasus, and a few Marine pilots who died supporting Pegasus. The names of these soldiers and Marines, plus dates and circumstances of their deaths, are listed in the book I mentioned, Battalion of Kings.

    You talk about acknowledging sacrifice in Pegasus, yet are so full of self-pride you cannot even admit much less give credit to the Marines who died in Pegasus. No doubt their deaths saved the lives of Cav troopers.

    • Peter Brush says:

      Joe, I mentioned that one reason Operation Pegasus was so large was because one of its original goals was to invade Laos after opening Route 9 and attacking NVA forces around Khe Sanh. You seemed unaware of this fact, so I reseached some details for you.

      Planning for Pegasus began in late January. At a Pegasus planning session in March in Da Nang of senior Army and Marine commanders Westmoreland ordered contingency plans made for brigade size cross-border operations in Laos after Route 9 was opened. As noted in Prados and Stubbe’s history of the battle (Valley of Decision), “Thus, as of March 10, MACV explicitly intended to be prepared for a coup de main thrust into Laos in conjunction with the relief of Khe Sanh (p. 418-419).”

      Final Pegasus plans were firmed up at a March 28 meeting. Westmoreland noted it would take two weeks to get permission for the thrust into Laos from Ambassador Sullivan and Washington, DC.

      On March 30, Westmoreland was briefed in Saigon on plans for Operation El Paso City, his long held plans for a major advance into Laos.

      On April 10, General Tolson, “without warning,” received orders from Westmoreland to prepare for an immediate assault into the A Shau Valley. That’s because Westmoreland was unable to get permission to invade Laos.

  44. Joe Abodeely says:

    Peter: You misstate my position. I have never said that Marines were not involved in Operation Pegasus. That is why I presented some of LTG Tolson’s report on the operation which clearly shows Marines involvement. My point has always been that the operation was primarily a 1st Air Cavalry operation AUGMENTED by Marines and ARVNs. I previously stated that Tolson wrote:
    “The basic concept of Operation PEGASUS was as follows: The 1st Marine Regiment with two battalions would launch a ground attack west toward Khe Sanh while the 3d Brigade would lead the 1st Cavalry air assault. On D+1 and D+2 all elements would continue to attack west toward Khe Sanh; and, on the following day, the 2d Brigade of the Cavalry would land three battalions southeast of Khe Sanh and attack northwest. The 26th Marine Regiment, which was holding Khe Sanh, would attack south to secure Hill 471. On D+4, the 1st Brigade would air assault just south of Khe Sanh and attack north. The following day the 3d Army of the Republic of Vietnam Airborne Task Force would air assault southwest of Khe Sanh and attack toward Lang Vei Special Forces Camp. Linkup was planned at the end of seven days.” This is the second time I’ve acknowledged the role of the 26th Marine Regiment. They ultimately did take Hill 471 in a bloody fight. I’ve told you several times that I am not taking anything away from the actions of the Marines. I just want to insure that the greatest “air cavalry” operation in the history of the United States military is properly acknowledged. I’ve read some of your writings and you seem to go out of your way to minimize the role of Operation Pegasus in the relief of the siege of Khe Sanh. Perhaps some fellow Marines may like this approach and maybe even some magazines may like it, but I know better. Opertion Pegasus was devised to send in the 1st Air Cavalry Division augmented by Marines and ARVNs to perform a three-fold mission (1) clear route 9, (2) kill NVA, and (3) end the siege. It did all three in one week. Yes, you are correct about my being very proud to have been a part of that opertion, but you are wrong that I have not given credit to the Marines involved. And please don’t play that game with me about not honoring those who died. I understand all that stuff–been there, done that.

    • Joe Abodeely says:

      Peter: I was aware of the intent to go into Laos. That mission was never authorized. Years later the Cav led the assault into Cambodia. You will recall all the heat Nixon took for that. The following is from my article in Vietnam magazine: “The Marines’ mission at Khe Sanh was to block the North Vietnamese infiltration across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and to establish a jumping-off point for a proposed but never authorized American advance into the panhandle of Laos to cut off the Ho Chi Minh Trail.” The 1st Air Cavalry Division because of its unique nature was the only unit in Vietnam that could be tasked with a mission to go to Khe Sanh or Laos or Cambodia or as we did go to the A Shau Valley.I am a big fan of air cavalry and the Army gave it up to the 101st who don’t do air cavalry. Cavalry has always had its limitations, but it has always had its strengths. It is best suited for COIN which we seem to have recently reinvented.

      • Peter Brush says:

        Joe, thanks for the clarifications. I’m glad to learn we agree on most of these points. Regarding your comment, “I’ve read some of your writings and you seem to go out of your way to minimize the role of Operation Pegasus in the relief of the siege of Khe Sanh,” it’s not that I minimize the role of Pegasus in the *relief* of Khe Sanh so much as I minimize the role of Pegasus in the history of the Marines at Khe Sanh. The Marines were involved in many named operations around Khe Sanh. I personally was in four of these operations. Marines fougnt and died there from January 1967 until the base closed in July 1968. Two of the Marine battles at Khe Sanh were of significance. Both were before Operation Pegasus.

        Pegasus lasted two weeks, and casualties were light, less than anticipated. Given the long history of Americans and Marines at Khe Sanh, Pegasus doesn’t seem all that important. Sorry, but that’s how it seems to me.

        One thing in my opinion that *is* under emphasized is the role of the Army at FOB-3 at Khe Sanh. They were in the area before, during, and after the time when the Marines were there.

  45. Joe Abodeely says:

    Peter: It’s taken us long enough, but I think we pretty much agree on everything you just wrote. The action at Khe Sanh was the Marines’ role. Nobody (including, and especially me) cannot take that away from the Marines. And in the course of their operations and defence of KSFB, the situation changed with the introduction of two NVA divisions, the artillery pounding, the mortar and rocket attacks, and the ambushes on the patrols. You know all of this. That is history. But what is also history is the 78 day siege which was broken by the 1st Air Cavalry augmented by supporting forces in Operation Pegaseus. Its casualties were minimal which is to its credit–not to its detriment. Many NVA left at various times for various reasons which is to its credit–not its detriment. And the concept of air cavalry–quick manueverability and shock action–to accomplish the three-fold mission (kill NVA, clear route 9, and end the siege) was accomplished in only one week in Operation Pegasus. That is to its credit, not its detriment. The story of the hill fights and the defense of Khe Sanh is the story of the Marines. The story of the relief of the siege of Khe Sanh in Operation Pegasus by the air cavaly tactics is the story of the 1st Air Cavalry Division. They are separate but complimentary. That’s my opinion and I think that is history.

    • Peter Brush says:

      Joe, you say, “But what is also history is the 78 day siege which was broken by the 1st Air Cavalry augmented by supporting forces in Operation Pegaseus.” True, of course. But what is the significance of that? Seems like that is the point.

      Pegasus is significant to you and to me, because we were participants. But beyond that, what was the significance of Pegasus? In other words, what is the significance of ending the siege? It meant Route 9 was now open.

      When did the siege begin? Let’s pick January 21 1968, when the NVA attacks begain in earnest. What was the situation before that? Route 9 was closed, and had been closed since September 1967. In fact, Route 9 was closed from September 1964 until March 1967. It was open from March-September 1967, then closed until Pegasus opened it in April 1968.

      My point here is that it was normal for Route 9 to be closed.

      The NVA began leaving before Pegasus began. Most left, some stayed. Pegasus opened Route 9 on April 8 1968. Heavy traffic could now get to Khe Sanh via land route. Supplies poured into to support 1 ACD and Marine operations. A week later 1 ACD left.

      Now Khe Sanh could be supplied by overland convoy. That meant the NVA could attack the convoys. That’s what they did. For example, on May 19 they launched a large attack on a Marine road sweep operation. 37 Marines and 300 NVA were killed. That month, 149 Marines and 19 soldiers died around Khe Sanh.

      Because the road was open, it was easier to dismantle the base. The base was dismantled. Fighting continued. The NVA kept shelling the base.

      A year later the situation was the same. The NVA were back and the Marines were fighting them. Have you read Karl Marlantes’ book Matterhorn? It’s about the Marines fighting the NVA in this area in early 1969, same as Marines were fighting the NVA in the same area two years earlier, and one year earlier.

      So overall, what was the significance of Pegasus? Keep in mind that the siege wasn’t really a siege in the literal sense of the word. Supplies were delivered. Killed and wounded were evacuated. Marines arrived for duty, and went home if their tours were up. Marines went to and from R&R during the siege.

      Operationally, what difference did it make?

      Peter Brush

  46. […] Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Category : Uncategorized […]

  47. […] – Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh – One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the war […]

  48. […] theo Peter Brush, mô?t c??u binh thu?y quân lu?c chiê?n My? t??ng d?? trâ?n Khe Sanh, trong ba?i […]

  49. […] theo Bâ?m Peter Brush, mô?t c??u binh thu?y quân lu?c chiê?n My? t??ng d?? trâ?n Khe Sanh, trong ba?i […]

  50. […] dân ty? na?n Khe Sanh lên phi c? My? ?? ?a? N??ng vê? Phu? Ba?i Nh?ng theo Bâ?m Peter Brush, mô?t c??u binh thu?y quân lu?c chiê?n My? t??ng d?? trâ?n Khe Sanh, trong ba?i […]

  51. […] – Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh – One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the war […]

  52. […] It is the worst form of legislative pandering, but go ahead speak against it an see what happens to you. Changes are good, a senator filibustering the VAWA would get more heat from the press, that Blumenthal ever got for mixing up his Marine Reserve drills in suburban Connecticut and being on a rifle team at Khe Sahn. […]

  53. Vinay says:


    Battle of Khe Sanh: Recounting the Battle’s Casualties…

  54. […] – Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh – One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the war […]

  55. […] 1968: End of the siege of the US base of Khe Sanh in South Vietnam after two and half days of combat at main loss […]

  56. […] 1968: End of the siege of the US base of Khe Sanh in South Vietnam after two and half days of combat at main loss […]

  57. […] 1968: End of the siege of the US base of Khe Sanh in South Vietnam after two and half days of combat at main loss […]

, , , ,

Sponsored Content: